A nonprofit, independent news source to inform, inspire, educate and connect the St. Louis Jewish community.

St. Louis Jewish Light

A nonprofit, independent news source to inform, inspire, educate and connect the St. Louis Jewish community.

St. Louis Jewish Light

A nonprofit, independent news source to inform, inspire, educate and connect the St. Louis Jewish community.

St. Louis Jewish Light

Congregation B'nai Amoona. Photo: Bill Motchan

D’var Torah: Our good names are linked to our good deeds

RABBI JEFFREY ABRAHAM June 3, 2021

We are told in Pirkei Avot (4:17) that there are three crowns, and “the crown of a good name surpasses them all.” This cliché, of course, has been used endlessly; yet, it is still relevant.  In our parsha, Sh’lach L’kha, we have the renowned...

Portrait of Rabbi Josef Davidson

Hearing, not only seeing, is believing

RABBI JOSEF DAVIDSON May 27, 2021

After my transfer to a new elementary school in the fourth grade, I was offered the opportunity to play a musical instrument. Music had always been a huge part of my life, whether in synagogue, which I attended each Shabbat morning with my grandfather,...

The new Kol Rinah building in Clayton is nearing completion.

Torah speaks to the challenges of reentry

RABBI NOAH ARNOW May 20, 2021

It’s been more than a year since I began reading the Torah through COVID-colored glasses. Or perhaps more aptly, I’ve been reading Torah this year through a mask. Familiar stories and concepts in the Torah read differently from home, on Zoom, streaming,...

Rabbi Jeffrey Abraham serves Congregation B’nai Amoona and is a member of the St. Louis Rabbinical and Cantorial Association, which coordinates the d’var Torah for the Jewish Light.

Making memories is the sweet in Passover’s bitters

By Rabbi Jeffrey Abraham March 25, 2021

The “Sarajevo Haggadah,” handwritten and illustrated in 14th century Spain, was probably part of the expulsion from Spain in 1492. The details of how and when it arrived in Sarajevo, now the capital of Bosnia and Herzegovina, are not known. But it...

Rabbi Josef Davidson serves Congregation B’nai Amoona and is a member of the St. Louis Rabbinical and Cantorial Association, which coordinates the weekly d’var Torah for the Jewish Light.

D’var Torah: A tale of two congregations

By Rabbi Josef Davidson March 11, 2021

Remember when we used to congregate together in our synagogues, at the Jewish Community Center, at restaurants, in movie theaters and in other such meeting places? Remember when people wearing masks were usually about to commit a crime rather than protect...

Rabbi Carnie Shalom Rose is the Rabbi Bernard Lipnick Senior Rabbinic Chair at Congregation B’nai Amoona. Rabbi Rose is a member of the St. Louis Rabbinical and Cantorial Association, which coordinates the d’var Torah for the Jewish Light. 

Second chances: Jewish tradition smiles on mulligans

BY RABBI CARNIE SHALOM ROSE March 4, 2021

This week’s parshah, Kee Teesa, contains one of the ugliest transgressions in the long history of the Jewish people: Chet HaEgel, the sin of the forging and worshipping the Golden Calf.Quite honestly, if I had my druthers, and the chutzpah to do so,...

Elizabeth Hersh is Senior Rabbi at Temple Emanuel.

We are tasked with bringing light into the world

BY RABBI ELIZABETH HERSH January 21, 2021

The Torah portion for this week, Bo, is filled with plagues (three, to be exact), darkness, laws of Passover, the commandment to sanctify the new moon, borrowed items and pidyon ha-ben — redemption of the first-born son. This is a story about our liberation...

Rabbi Neal Rose

Pandemic ‘Tales of Gratitude’ can bring us together

By Rabbi Neal Rose January 14, 2021

This week’s Torah reading describes the first seven of the 10 plagues that were intended to demonstrate how the power of the God of Israel surpasses that of Pharaoh and a host of lesser Egyptian gods and goddesses. At first, it appears that these...

Rabbi Carnie Shalom Rose is The Rabbi Bernard Lipnick Senior Rabbinic Chair at Congregation B’nai Amoona and a member of the St. Louis Rabbinical and Cantorial Association.

True, mature faith has no place for quid pro quos

By Rabbi Carnie Shalom Rose November 25, 2020

Jacob left Beersheba and set out for Charan. He came upon a certain place and stopped there for the night, for the sun had set. Taking one of the stones of that place, he put it under his head and lay down in that place. He had a dream; a stairway was...

Rabbi Jeffrey Abraham serves Congregation B’nai Amoona and is a member of the St. Louis Rabbinical and Cantorial Association, which coordinates the d’var Torah for the Jewish Light.

May we be thankful for what we have

By Rabbi Jeffrey Abraham November 19, 2020

Here we are in the Jewish calendar with no holidays. The month of Cheshvan that just ended is at times referred to as Mar Cheshvan, or Bitter Cheshvan, by virtue of the absence of any holidays.  It is precisely during this time period that we have the...

Rabbi Jeffrey Abraham

The joy of Sukkot

BY RABBI JEFFREY ABRAHAM October 1, 2020

The mood swing from Yom Kippur to Sukkot is among the most dramatic of Jewish transitions. From sobriety to celebration, from awe-struck fear to total joy, from fasting to feasting, we re-engage with the world beyond the walls of synagogue, remembering...

Rabbi Carnie Shalom Rose is The Rabbi Bernard Lipnick Senior Rabbinic Chair at Congregation B’nai Amoona and a member of the St. Louis Rabbinical and Cantorial Association.

Recognizing our blessings requires pursuit of goodness

By Rabbi Carnie Shalom Rose September 4, 2020

Devarim - Chapter 26: 1: When you enter the land that the Lord your God is giving you as a heritage, and you possess it and settle in it, 2: You shall take some of every first fruit of the soil, which you harvest from the land that the Lord your God...

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A nonprofit, independent news source to inform, inspire, educate and connect the St. Louis Jewish community.